The Atlanta Braves made a tough decision demoting right handed starter Mike Foltynewicz to Triple-A after his latest start. As tough as it may be it is the right move for a first place team.
Mike Foltynewicz was the Atlanta Braves unquestioned ace last season. One year later Mike has failed to be even a replacement level starter. Foltynewicz has an ERA north of six and is consistently showing his frustration on the mound.
While there may be some fans who would want to see the Braves stick with Folty or move him to the pen they made the right move. Atlanta is a first place team at the moment picking up a lead over the free falling Phillies and clicking offensively.
If not for their recent starting pitching struggles Atlanta would be unstoppable. Mike Foltynewicz will now go to Triple-A and attempt to recapture the magic he had last season.
In his career Mike is a 4+ ERA pitcher, making last season the outlier. It could simply be that Folty has a career season and that isn’t a pitcher we will see again.
Optioning Mike is the move a first team place would make and the right decision for Atlanta. Who will replace him in the rotation is cloudy at best. Atlanta doesn’t have any proven options and all of their young arms have struggled that aren’t currently in the rotation.
Sean Newcomb could be an option though it seems doubtful Atlanta will want to weaken their bullpen.
For Foltynewicz the biggest challenge in his career has been his inability to control his emotions on the mound. Letting one bad pitch or call spiral into a terrible outing or losing his control completely.
If he wants to return to Atlanta this season he is going to have to prove he can learn to bridle his emotions and have poise on the mound. If not we may have seen the last of Foltynewicz in the Braves rotation.